Today is the first day of school for my kids:
Some of us are more excited about that than others of us:
As we approached the school for this morning’s drop off, I saw a mom walking a small little girl down the sidewalk.
“Seems like it was just a little while ago I was taking you guys to kindergarten,” I said. The girl’s backpack looked huge. I remember how big my kids’ backpacks used to look. I remember how hard it was to leave them at school that first year.
“I cried after I dropped you off.”
“Are you serious?” one child asked, incredulous.
“Awww, Mommy cried,” the other added, not sympathetically.
I just love my middle-schoolers.
The first day is always a little bittersweet for me, a marker of time passing. One less year left. Today is their last first day of middle school. I can hardly wrap my head around the fact that just two short years ago, our first day looked like this:
Bittersweet as it is, today I am grateful for so many things. I am grateful that my children have a safe school to attend, with teachers who care and work hard for them. I am grateful that my children are healthy and have every reason to expect that this year will be a good one. And I am grateful for the reality check of annual photos, a tradition that reminds me how fleeting this time is, how the children who stand in front of my front door today will only be these particular children for a very short time.
I’m grateful for the reminder to notice and savor who they are every day, because tomorrow they will have changed, just a little bit more, into the people they are becoming. And while I will love those new people just as much as I love the ones I’ll go home to later today, I will always miss the children I used to have–my shy kindergarten girl who wore bows in her hair, my grinning, gap-toothed 3rd grade boy, my just-about-to-sprout 6th graders.
I’m sure that two years from now, when they are sophomores who know everything, I will be just as nostalgic for my my goofy, moody, often-sarcastic 8th graders.
Happy new year, everyone.